Cédric Tiberghien

Bartók: Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion; Other Piano Music

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This album rounds out a survey of Bartók's piano music by Cédric Tiberghien, and from the point of view of the program, it might be the one to pick if you just want one sample. The album offers a good range of Bartók's voluminous piano music, from the compact but thorny and rather Stravinskian Piano Sonata of 1926, to several interesting sets of folk dances, plus the heavily folkish Sonatina, to the difficult Etudes, Op. 18, to the consistently crowd-pleasing Sonata for two pianos and percussion at the end. Tiberghien's touch is light and even breezy, with an improvisatory feel. If you want a pounding Sonata for two pianos and percussion, look elsewhere; Tiberghien keeps the ensemble of second piano François-Frédéric Guy and percussionists Colin Currie and Sam Walton reined in. But in the more intimate works, Tiberghien brings many delightful touches. Sample one of the not-terribly-often-played Three Rondos on Slovak Folk Tunes, perhaps the "Vivacissimo"; based on tunes collected by the composer himself, these works represent one of Bartók's nearest approaches to folk simplicity, and Tiberghien's circumspect approach works well here. He's aided by near-ideal sound from Hyperion, working in London's appropriate Henry Wood Hall. A recommended Bartók release.

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